“Sometimes life gets weird. Hang in there, it gets better.” ~
I often freely state that my first 3 months postpartum were a traumatic haze of pain, sleep deprivation and a baby who screamed seemingly incessantly. It was hard. I was absolutely convinced that Nate would be my one and only baby. After all, who signs up for that level of trauma twice?
The 3 to 6 month quarter wasn’t too bad on the baby front. At the end of month 3, He finally stopped screaming (and the church said Amen). He started giggling. He developed a personality. The slug days were over. He was an absolute delight. My sleeping pattern had adjusted and I even started doing my eyebrows. I was starting to enjoy my new path.
But the universe is not about letting you find your equilibrium so easily. This was also the quarter in which I went back to work. My goodness. The brain was foggy which meant trying to find new ways to manage my workload and well, me. It also meant greater concentration was required. I desperately wanted to be home in time for the baby’s nighttime routine plus a little playtime so I didn’t take lunch breaks so I could leave an hour early. Thankfully, expressing wasn’t too difficult. I was very diligent about it. Between business, babies and running my home, I was exhausted. Every night, I would go to put the baby to sleep and promptly pass out too until the 11pm feed. I missed a lot of suppers which meant my eating habits were poor. I had very little time to exercise and when I did have time, I was too tired.
At about the halfway mark, it started to get easier. I started to use little life hacks like delegating my administrative tasks at work. This allowed me to focus on the parts of my to-do list that I could not delegate and to deliver a quality product rather than a tired mum project. At home, I learnt to shop smart and to meal prep. It’s a game changer to be able to throw together a meal in 30minutes or less. Somewhere along the line I also finally comprehended that self-care and exercise are no longer optional extras. In order for me to function optimally as a woman, lawyer, and mum, I had to be as healthy as possible.
These days when I look at my 9-month-old pulling himself up to standing position or diligently sucking a chicken bone or speed crawling towards me whilst giggling with excitement when I come home from work, I simply can not fathom how a little boy can make me so happy and a second baby actually seems doable (insert dramatic gasp here). I also realise that somewhere along the line, it got better. The new path is evening out. Somehow I manage to be a wife, mum, lawyer and still take a moment to breathe here and there. Have I got it figured out? Not even close. But I’m certainly not drowning anymore and I hope it continues to improve.
In short, the early days of having a newborn are like the first year of marriage. It’s an uncomfortable, and maybe even painful, teething process. But you know what, it gets better and then it gets wonderful. Hang in there.